Magnet in common popular devices may harm your heart health

Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

Magnet technology is increasingly being used in portable electronic devices, such as the Apple AirPods Pro charging case, the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, and the Microsoft Surface Pen.

Scientists from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland found if the devices are carried in pockets near the chest, and the person has an implanted cardiac device (ICD), the magnets may interfere with the ICD’s ability to help regulate the heart.

The research is published in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology and was conducted by Corentin Féry et al.

Devices and machinery with magnets exhibit a vector field or area of magnetic influence that can inhibit pulse generators for implanted ICDs and pacemakers.

In ICDs, magnets can activate a switch prohibiting the ICD from delivering life-saving shocks.

Newer portable electronic devices equipped with strong magnets can disrupt the ICD operation.

Earlier research on the iPhone 12 Pro Max demonstrated that its magnetic field is strong enough to interfere with the normal operation of an implanted pacemaker or ICD when held within an inch.

In this study, researchers tested the magnetic field output of the wireless charging case of the Apple AirPods Pro, the Microsoft Surface Pen, and the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation.

They found the maximum distance for a possible interaction between the portable electronic devices and the implantable cardiac devices was:

  • around 2 cm (0.78 inches) away for all of the Apple products; and
  • 2.9 cm (1.14 inches) away for the Microsoft Surface Pen.

The researchers say for safety the minimal distance is between 0.8 cm (0.31 inches) for the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, and 1.8 cm (0.71 inches) for the Microsoft Surface Pen and the opened charging case of the Apple AirPods Pro.

The public needs to be aware of the potential risks of portable electronic devices in addition to the iPhone 12 Pro Max that may affect anyone with an ICD

What is most concerning is that magnets are being used in more and more portable electronic devices, and with so many magnets around us, the risk to cardiac patients is even greater.

They suggest that heart patients should be aware of these risks, and their doctor should tell them to be careful with these electronic devices with magnets.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about how to eat less salt to protect your heart and blood pressure, and this diet could help reverse heart failure.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that an avocado per week keeps your heart doctor away, and results showing light alcohol drinking cannot benefit your heart health.

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